Wednesday, July 4, 2012

>Merops nubicus (Northern Carmine Bee-eater)

Northern Carmine Bee-eater

Northern Carmine Bee-eater
Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Species:M. nubicus
Binomial name
Merops nubicus
Gmelin, 1788
The Northern Carmine Bee-eater Merops nubicus is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. Alternative common names include the Carmine Bee-eater or the Nubian Bee-eater.


It is native to Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea,Guinea-Bissau, 
Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone,Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. It occurs as a vagrant in Burundi.


Near Watamu, Kenya
This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly colored, slender bird, predominantly carmine in color, except for a greenish blue head and throat and distinctive black mask. This species has red eyes, a black, pointed, decurved beak, and elongated central tail feathers.
The sexes are similar in appearance, and the juveniles can be distinguished from adults by their lack of elongated central tail feathers and the pinkish brown coloration of their mantle, chest to belly, and flanks.



They nest in large colonies in cliffs, usually near river banks, where they use there bills to dig long horizontal nesting tunnels, often eight feet or more in length. Three to five eggs are laid per clutch.


Their diet is made up primarily of bees and other flying insects, such as grasshoppers and locusts. The main hunting strategy of bee-eater is to keep watch for flying insects from a perch, and then snatch them out of the air using their beaks, before returning to the perch.


The call is a deep, throaty "tunk" in flight; a series of "rik" notes when perched.

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